“Getting Close to the Leaving Time”
I spent time in Minneapolis this summer and had a chance to see my nephews. Joe is 4 ˝ and Evan is 2 ˝. They are fabulous. A few days into my trip Joe announced with not a shred of anything but sheer celebration that he was ‘in love with me.’ He told his mother and father, who tried to no avail explain the difference between ‘in love’ and ‘love.’ He told his Uncle Kurt, his father’s good friend, and Miss Heather, his babysitter. He whispered it to me often while trying to crawl up as close as possible and burrow in next to me. We were going to be ‘snuggle monsters’ forever. It was one of the most open declarations of affection I had ever received. No pretense. I was touched beyond words and took is his pronouncement seriously. We held hands as we walked across many a parking lot, read together a lot, and sat side by side at baseball games, on the couch and at the dinner table.
Two days before I left Minnesota I asked him if he was still in love with me and with an honesty that surprised me, he said bluntly, “Kinda sorta not so much.”
When I asked him why not he said with incredible awareness, “It is getting close to the leaving time and so I can’t be in love with you anymore.”
Whoa. Out of the mouths of babes. I have dated men who haven’t been so self-reflective. Worked with groups who can’t articulate what is going on with their dynamic. I have to admit that I often don’t have the chops to state my truth with such clarity. It was a ‘Wow’ moment. What is ‘under the surface’ but clearly ‘at play’ and can we name it?
As we go into the ‘leaving time’ of the summer and move into the ‘starting time’ of the fall, I wish for all of us to be as self-aware, honest and as articulate as my nephew. Can we clearly state our feelings, positive or not? Are we “kinda sorta not” feeling too excited to start up again because our summer was so amazing or kinda sorta afraid of what is coming our way? Or are we really super ready for the next adventure and really super excited to go back to work (and for our children to go back to school) that we can state it aloud? Here’s to a month of both self-awareness and articulation.
If you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions, please feel free to call me, 650-868-1916 and we can Face Time, Skype me at jenniferabrams, or email me at Jennifer@jenniferabrams.com and we can set up a time to talk voice to voice. I look forward to hearing from you!
Books on my shelf to be read...soon...
Everything is Workable: A Zen Approach to Conflict Resolution by Diane Musho Hamilton. “Using mindfulness to work with and resolve the inevitable interpersonal conflicts that arise in all areas of life.”
The Culture Map: Breaking through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business by Erin Meyer.“Whether you work in a home office or abroad, business success in our ever more globalized and virtual world requires the skills to navigate through cultural differences and decode cultures foreign to your own. Renowned expert Erin Meyer is your guide through this subtle, sometimes treacherous terrain where people from starkly different backgrounds are expected to work harmoniously...”
Influencing Up by Allan R. Cohen and David L. Bradford. “Learn to overcome your difficulties with a boss who is uninterested in your concerns, or resistant to giving needed support. Or discover how to win the cooperation of senior managers who are hard to reach, and hard to sell on your ideas, products, or services.”
Each month I will share with you information about a few of my upcoming trainings.
If I am going to be in your area, contact me so we can say hello, hopefully in person!
Being Generationally Savvy
Alief Independent School District
Facilitating Productive Meetings
Shared Leadership Councils
Stanford Hospitals and Clinics
Powerful Presentation Skills
El Dorado County Office of Education
Having Hard Conversations
Opening of School Faculty Off-Site Retreat
Health Sciences High– San Diego
Palm Desert, CA
For additional upcoming events, please visit my Web site.
Until next time!
Feel free to forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues. You may reprint this newsletter whole or quote with attribution to Jennifer Abrams and a link to www.jenniferabrams.com